A Seat at the Table: Embracing Diversity

A Seat at the Table is a series of community dinners that bring people together to share meals and lives. Previous dinners have centered on topics such as economic development, LGBTQ history and rights, and cultural diversity. This series of four dinners will focus on communities that have often been marginalized in Perry County, and will include oral histories and heritage cooking classes. We held our first event on May 1st, with a tamale making class, and 2nd, with a community dinner.

Read More

2018 Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening Highlights

In November of 2018 the Central Appalachian Network held its first Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Approximately 115 people attended the event, including economic development practitioners, community change makers, funders, and sector experts working in the Central Appalachian region. Discussions were focused on individual sectors and topics, and on cross-cutting issues affecting the equitable transition of the Central Appalachian region. The three concurrent session tracks focused on the three topics of CAN’s working groups: Food and Agriculture Systems, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking.

Read More

Report: Creative Placemaking in Central Appalachia

Creative placemaking has gained steady momentum across the country and region as an approach that can drive cross-sector engagement and community transformation, which is critical to a just transition in Central Appalachia.The Central Appalachian Network commissioned this scan of creative placemaking in Central Appalachia in order to understand what creative placemaking looks like on the ground, assess the state of the field regionally, offer ideas to strengthen and accelerate current momentum, and ultimately bring more attention and resources to advance the approach of creative placemaking in the region.

Read More

Winding Road Stories: Sunflower Bakery (Appalachian Ohio)

Sunflower Bakery sits on a busy Nelsonville Public Square. There is a sense of vibrancy here: as I walk down the street, older and younger couples pass by, workers are cleaning up the square’s central fountain, and cars slowly drive past. I step into the bakery, and it is bright and warm. The smell of fresh bread hits me as soon as I open the door. I am greeted by two women, Rosemary behind the counter, and Liz Florentino, the owner. 

Read More

HERBalachia: Creative Placemaking in Unicoi County, TN

HERBalachia welcomed our first class of herbal students in 2017. Fourteen of those 30 students were medical professionals, which indicated to me that herbs appeal to more than gardening hobbyists and flower children.  Since our first year, the school has expanded to include a second training year for health professionals, and this year we will offer our community the Sassafras Moon Herbal Festival on September 7.

Read More